Negotiation is an important part of doing business in any industry. In fact, it’s not a matter of whether or not you will negotiate but rather how well you negotiate. No matter your industry or your position, you are bound to go through some sort of negotiation every day. From promoting a new product to a customer to negotiating a raise, every professional will find themselves negotiating at some point in their career. That’s why you’ll want to be equipped with the right strategies to help you land a better deal. The secret to achieving a positive outcome is the combination of thorough preparation and utilizing some of the most effective negotiation strategies. Here are some essential negotiating strategies that can help you succeed in a variety of business interactions.
Do Your Research
One of the most important steps happens well before you sit down at the negotiating table: research. When you walk into a negotiation, you should already know as much as possible about the other party. What are their objectives? What are their values? How eager are they to reach a deal? This not only helps you to build a relationship with your counterpart, but it also arms you with the knowledge you need to approach the negotiation in the most advantageous way.
Listen to the Other Party
All too often people spend a great deal of time preparing what they will say during negotiations and they fail to realize that listening is more powerful than speaking. Be prepared to actively listen to the other party so you can gain an understanding of what is most important to them. Not only will listening empower you with pertinent information, but it will make the other party feel like you genuinely care about satisfying their needs.
Know Your Goals as Well
Not only is it important to learn what goals are important to your counterpart, but you also need to define your own goals as well. Prior to entering into discussions, think about what is most important to you and what you hope to achieve as a result of the negotiation. This will help you stay on track and work toward a mutually beneficial agreement.
Prepare Your Concessions Ahead of Time
Negotiations are all about give and take so it’s expected that both parties will make some concessions before reaching an agreement. That said, you don’t want to make concessions right there on the spot without giving them any thought. Otherwise you might end up conceding too much too soon. It is important to prioritize your concessions ahead of time so you can slowly concede as needed. Also, make sure that for every concession you make you get something in return.
Identify Their Pressure Points
People naturally bow to pressures. Whether you’re a purchasing manager on a tight budget, a salesman trying to meet a quota, or a project manager facing a deadline, you have certain pressures to keep in mind and you know it. Now, as a negotiator it is important to look for these pressure points in your counterpart and use that to your advantage to forge a better deal and create a win-win solution for both parties.
Work Toward a Win-Win Situation
A successful negotiation ends with both parties leaving the table feeling like they got a win. Rather than approaching the negotiation with a win-lose mentality, effective negotiators know the value of problem solving in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. It’s always best to propose solutions that address the needs of both parties, as this will lead to a better outcome and a stronger foundation for future negotiations.